Welcome to “Off the Top of Our Heads” an improv show at Gotham City Improv. Once more the night starts with a familiar face, Leanne Linsky of Lady Luck is a Whore. As the audience settles with the cast on stage, it is apparent we are in for a great night. The director stands in the distance as he requests and accepts variations of scenarios for the cast to highlight. They range from breakup scenes that take place in outside cafés to awkward moments with a Rabbi in the South. Cast members take turns working together in perfect harmony to produce barrels of laughter for the audience. In case you are not familiar as to how improvisation works, it is a spontaneous, on the spot, and unscripted form of acting requiring quick, on your feet thinking and the ability to make up as you go.
However, this night was special and stood out from the rest because it was appropriately released as a salute and dedication to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, a super-storm that unexpectedly destroyed the infrastructures and lives of many. While we try to reconstruct and move on it is good to know that we can find the strength of continuous life in the arts and music. These alternate forms of entertainment offer moments of laughter and distraction to help us briefly divert our attention from reality. Additionally, what makes this improv night even more special is knowing that all proceeds went to the relief fund and the cast members volunteered their time. Gotham’s shows are B.Y.O.B. which proved to be a great way to get away from the stress of the storm. Following the performance, the cast joined in for a meet and greet. It was great to talk to the actors involved and learn how they are able to accommodate this fast paced type of acting.
In conclusion, a quote from Marc Adam Smith, the artistic director sums up the entire experience and the New York spirit. “I have lived in the city my whole life and I have seen, two blackouts, two transit strikes, 9/11 and countless other trails; when the city gets kicked and you can put your skill set to making it better, which for us is entertainment, you do so.”
By: Laura M. Artis.
For more info and a list of upcoming shows and classes visit: http://www.gothamcityimprov.com/